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ed. For John came neither eating nor drinking ; and they 18 say : He hath a devil. The Son of Man came eating and 19 drinking, and they say : Behold, a man gluttonous and a winebibber, a friend of publicans and sinners: But Wisdom is justified of her children. Then began he to upbraid the cities 20 wherein most of his mighty works were done, because they
tist, nor the mild condescension of tion agrees best with the context; Jesus Christ. They were a nation for having just before shown that of fault-finders, and nothing could the Jews were inconsistent and cavplease them.
illing, Christ now, by way of con18. Neither eating nor drinking. trast, exhibits the different judgment Not literally going without food and which the wise would pass upon the drink, but living very abstemiously. same measures. They would justiSee Matt. iii. 4. Luke says, “neither fy John in his mode of life, and eating bread, nor drinking wine ; Jesus in his, aware that each acted i. e. leading an ascetic and secluded best according to the high office he life, and not partaking of food reg- filled, and the circumstances in ularly. He hath a devil. He hath which he was placed. The characa demon. He is melancholy or ter and conduct of each were best mad. For the Jews attributed low adapted to his particular sphere and spirits and insanity to possession by duties. — We find at the present demons. The same slander was day some, like the ancient Jews, uttered against Jesus. John vii. that are disposed to cavil when a 20, viii. 48, x. 20, 21,
good object is presented to them, 19. Came eating and drinking. no matter what its nature or claims. Observed the usual customs of so- To find fault is their element, and a cial life, and kept no fasts. - A wilful fastidiousness and lawless man gluttonous, and a wine-bibber, a caprice their besetting sin. They friend, fc. With the cheerful, fa- may indulge in the same dispomiliar, and gracious manner of Je- sition now that led the Jews to sus, and his mingling in all society, reject John for his austerity and even that of publicans and sinners, Jesus for his cheerfulness, and be they were as ready to find fault, as subject to a like condemnation. with the abstemious and stern life Observe, especially, that God's of the Baptist. Nothing will satis- ministers are variously gifted; the fy those that will not be satisfied. ability and genius of some lies one But Wisdom is justified of her chil- way, of others, another way. Some dren. Of is old English for by. are Boanerges, sons of thunder ; The children of wisdom are the others Barnabases, sons of consolawise, as the children of disobedi- tion; yet all these worketh that one ence are the disobedient. Eph. ii. and the self-same spirit, and there2. Wisdom is the wise course fore we ought not to condemn either, adopted by John and Jesus respec- but to praise both, and to praise tively, which would be vindicated God for both, who thus tries various or approved, as best fitted for the ways of dealing with persons of vaends they came to fulfil, by all wise rious tempers. - Henry. and candid minds. Such is the 20-24. See Luke x. 12-16, general maxim as applied to this 20. A new paragraph begins here, particular case. This interpreta- though it is connected in sense with
21 repented not : Woe unto thee, Chorazin, woe unto thee, Beth
saida ! for if the mighty works which were done in you had
been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long 22 ago in sackcloth and ashes. But I say unto you, it shall be the preceding one. — Upbraid. To twenty miles distant from each other, reprove or chide.
Mighty works, and were distinguished for their i. e. miracles. They had resisted commerce, wealth, and luxury. the highest evidence he could give Judgments were denounced by the of a divine commission, and still prophets, Isaiah xxiii.; Ezek. xxvi., continued impenitent. What sin xxviii., against Tyre, on account of could be more unpardonable than her idolatry and wickedness, which this, which took away the motives were signally fulfilled. It was reto repentance, and the conditions of peatedly taken and destroyed, and forgiveness?
not a vestige of its former glory 21. Woe unto thee. This is not remains. A few fishermen now so much a denunciation as a predic- spread their nets to dry amongst the tion; not, let woe be unto thee, but, ruins of its walls. A like fate bewoe will be unto thee. See Matt. fell Sidon. The waves of the sea xxiv. 19. There is compassion also now dash on lonely rocks, upon in it, and we may suppose that Jesus which were built the palaces in uttered it with a tone of the tender- which thousands and tens of thouest sorrow and pity. Alas for thee sands once revelled in pomp and would, according to some commen- pleasure. So surely is sin not only tators, more truly express the senti- a reproach, but a ruin to any people, ment of Jesus. The order of the however powerful or rich. Such is warnings is varied in Luke by the the law of God. - They would have mention of Sodom first, chap. x. 12, repented long ago. Tyre and Sidon, whereas in Matthew it is put last. like Nineveh, might have repented
Chorazin · Bethsaida. These and reformed, had they been warnwere villages in Galilee, situated ed of their impending desolation. near Capernaum, where he then They were not irreclaimable. Jesus was, and on the shores of the Sea used these places as illustrations ; of Galilee. Their very locations yet incidentally. It was a remark
now matters of conjecture. able declaration, and is not without Jesus had preached and performed its remote significance touching the his miracles in all places in that vi- laws of retribution. For they who cinity. The shores of this inland sinned under less light will be punsea were his resort. But with in- ished with less rigor, and the opcrease of privileges there always portunities and motives to repencomes increase of responsibility ; tance that were not addressed to and these towns, where the miracles them at one time may be at another. of Christ had been wrought, and his Sackcloth. Esther iv. 1 ; Jonah iii. discourses delivered, and his daily 5; Neh. ix. 1. A rough cloth, shining life of goodness passed, made of goat's hair, or coarse linen, must have been tenfold hardened, if or wool. It was worn by mourners, they continued impenitent. — Tyre or as a sign of humiliation. — Ashes. and Sidon. These cities, so pro- It was customary in the east, where verbially wicked, were situated in all emotions, whether of joy or sorPhænicia, northwest of Palestine, row, are ardently expressed, to lie on the Mediterranean Sea, about in the ashes, or to cover the head
more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon, at the day of judgment, than for you.
And thou, Capernaum, which art exalted unto 23 heaven, shalt be brought down to hell ; for if the mighty works which have been done in thee had been done in Sodom, it would have remained until this day. But I say unto you, that 24 it shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom, in the day of
with dust or ashes, as a token of the neighbourhood. — Brought down grief. Job ii. 12; Jer. vi. 26. to hell. Or, the abyss. This, as Says an interesting writer, “We well as the foregoing expression, is cannot read the record of sorrow- plainly hyperbolical. The meaning ful and depressing remembrances is, that, from the enjoyment of the which this train of thought (see noblest privileges, it would, on ac
16 - 19) summons before count of its impénitence and unJesus, without a keen feeling of faithfulness, be brought down to the the painful trials and disappoint- lowest condition. The word transments of that tender and sympa- lated hell is Hades, which means thetic mind. There fitted before strictly the place of the departed, his quick thought the scenes where whether good or bad ; it was rephe had spent his strength for nought, resented by the Jews as situated be
- the cities on whose houses and neath the earth. It has sometimes people his spirit had shed its best been translated grave. It here reenergies and love, — and shed them fers to the abject degradation to only to be like water spilt upon the which Capernaum would be reduground, and that cannot be gather- ced, compared with its former dised. Devoted to them, life and tinguished opportunities, and not to mind, there comes back to him no any place of punishment in the fureturn but this recurring experience, ture world. The prediction has that they were offended in him. been fulfilled ; and even its situation Nazareth, Chorazin, Bethsaida, Ca- is now lost, so completely has the pernaum, are all before him, pres- town been effaced from the earth. sing their bitter memories on his The same laws of God's moral govfainting heart; all sought and lost, ernment are in action now; and the toiled for, but not won; sought by city or nation, which is exalted to works
that might have averted hea- heaven in point of privileges, will then Tyre and Sidon from their yet, if unfaithful and wicked, finally desperate courses; and ministered sink into oblivion, and its place be unto by one, who, if he had preach- unknown, and its history sound like ed unto Sodom, might have awaken- a fable.
It would have remained ed even it to repentance, and stayed until this day. Its wickedness was the fiery indignation of Heaven.” the sole cause of its ruin.
22. See Matt. x. 15, and the note 24. See note on Matt. x. 15. thereon.
More tolerable. Scripture here con23. Thou, Capernaum. A more firms what is consonant to experidirect address because he was in it ence and reason, that punishment at the time. - Exalted unto heaven. has its degrees. The greater the Is. xiv. 13, 14. Art favored with sin, the greater the misery. - What the most exalted privileges. Jesus must be our condition, national or himself lived there. It was even individual, temporal or eternal, if more privileged than other towns in we shut our eyes against clearer
25 judgment, than for thee. At that time Jesus answered and
said : I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth,
because thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, 26 and hast revealed them unto babes. Even so, Father, for so Gospel light than shone even upon way is not once mentioned in the
horazin, Bethsaida, and Caper- Bible in any place, did one of his naum, or if we darken it with the
natures thank the other ? Would vapors of sin ?
" How shall we that constitute worship? — Because escape if we neglect so great salva- thou hast hid these things, fc. That tion ?''
is, the truths of the Gospel. - The 25 – 27. Compare Luke x. 21, 22, wise and prudent. The worldly where the same expressions of Je- wise, those wise in their own consus' devout joy are uttered on the ceits. Hast revealed them unto return of the Seventy.
babes, i. e. to men of little learning, 25. At that time. As if to mark fame, or influence, but who were of how soon Jesus reassured his faint- innocent and docile dispositions. ing spirit, and turned from the sad- He elsewhere calls his disciples litdening view of the inefficacy of his tle ones. Matt. x. 42. In this verse labors, to the most devout and grate- is contained a peculiar idiom of the ful feelings. " To think of God Hebrew language, an instance of was again to be revived, again to be which occurs in Rom. vi. 17. The his Christ, strong in hope." - An- cause of gratitude was not, as the swered and said. Went on to say. sentence literally expresses it, that He replied to no question, but pro- God had hidden these things from ceeded to say, in addition to his the wise and revealed them to babes; foregoing remarks, what follows. but because, having in his proviI thank thee, O Father. I make dence permitted them to be hidden grateful acknowledgments to thee, from the learned and the famous, or give glory. This is an ejacula- poets, orators, statesmen, and phitory prayer. - Father is the uniform losophers, he had communicated title with which Jesus addresses the them to the meek and the childlike, Deity. It argues no small advance to the unlearned carpenter and simin the Christian life, when his fol- ple fisherman. The Scribes and lowers can with truth and sincerity, Pharisees, puffed up with their and not as a mere form, or from learning, rejected the counsel of cold imitation, call God their Fa- God, but the common people heard ther. The conviction of God's pa- Jesus gladly. Preached by persons ternal character is the strong-hold of such humble origin as himself of goodness in the human heart. and his Apostles, the Gospel would Lord of heaven and earth. Univer- appear to be less indebted for its sal sovereign, whose will there is truth and success to any power, or none to dispute, above or below. learning, or wisdom of man, and The inquiry may be appropriately more plainly and unequivocally to made here, How could the Saviour be the special revelation of Heaven. address this prayer to God, if he The Jews were accustomed to atwas himself God? If he was the tribute every thing directly to the Highest, why did he address a agency of God, even what was higher than himself? Did he thank done by the will or instrumentality himself? Or, if we adopt the doc- of man. Thus Jesus, in conformity trine of two natures, which by the to the usual mode of speech, repre
it seemed good in thy sight. All things are delivered unto me 27 of my Father ; and no man knoweth the Son but the Father ; neither knoweth any man the Father, save the Son, and he to whomsoever the Son will reveal him. Come unto me all ye 28 sents God as hiding these things of the subordination of the Son to from the wise and prudent, by which the Father. — Though my religion we are not to understand that their is rejected by the wise and prudent, unbelief was caused, but only per- would seem to be his meaning, yet mitted, by him, and that it was at- I can fall back and repose with joy tributable to their own folly. - The on the assurance that God has given latter clause of the verse may be me this mission to perform, and all illustrated by two quotations from things adequate to its triumphant the Talmuds. “ From the time in fulfilment. — No man. which the temple was destroyed, Knoweth the Son but the Father. wisdom was taken away from the Know here, as in many other cases, prophets, and given to fools and has the sense of being intimately children.” “ In the days of the acquainted with. No one knows Messiah, every species of wisdom, the Son as the Son, i. e. in his peeven the most profound, shall be culiar and glorious relation to the revealed; and this even to chil- Father, but the Father. The Gosdren.”
pel was so far in advance of man26. So it seemed good in thy sight. kind, and even of the Jews, as a For many things this is the only religious people, that no one, not satisfactory explanation, that they even his disciples, fully understood are as they are. When the specu- and sympathized with him in his lations of philosophy can go no far- sublime purposes. He could look ther, it soothes the troubled mind to Heaven alone for support. But to say, It is the will of our God. he was not solitary, for the Father That will is so benignant, where we was with him, and understood him can understand it, that we can trust and his errand into the world. it, where it is inscrutable ; being Neither knoweth any man, any one perfectly convinced, that, could we the Father, save the Son, $c. see the whole, we should see it ad- So, on the other hand, the Father vancing our welfare through dark- is not known in his full glory, exness as well as light, through clouds cept to his Son, and those of a like and mysteries as well as in the spirit with him, who have been enplainest revelations and blessings. lightened by him in relation to the
27. All things, i. e. all things character of the Father. - Will renecessary to my mission and the veal him. Instead of him read them, salvation of mankind, and not strict- that is, both the Father and the ly all things in the universe. All Son. The Son reveals himself and knowledge of God needful for my his Father, reveals his Father in official work, as the rest of the himself. The sense of the whole verse shows; not all power and is, that the Father has given him a government. General terms are to full commission and knowledge in be limited in interpretation by the relation to the salvation of mankind, connexion in which they stand. and that none but the Father and Are delivered unto me of my Father. Son, and those who are instructed By my Father. Matt. xxviii. 18; by the Gospel, can enter completely John xvii. 2. A plain declaration into their plans with regard to the